Writing 101 – Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

I can hardly believe this is happening to poor Mrs Pauley. Always feedin’ the kids in the street, when Mr Pauley was alive. They’d knock on her door at all hours, beggin’ fa food. I’d smell the pancakes she made on a Sunday after church, and I’d get the tummy rumbles. She makes better ones than Mother. I’d never tell her, but they’re a bit dry. I’d sit at her kitchen table, and eat and eat. She said I have the appetite of a horse.

Wish there was somethin’ I could do. I said to Dad just the other day, somethin’s not right over there. Mrs Pauleys’ looking all scrawny, like an old chook, shouldn’t we take her over some food? But Dad just shook his head, and turned over the TV. ‘Not our business, Son,’ he said.

Don’t tell nobody, but I took over an an apple, milk and cookies and left them on the porch. I knocked on the door really loudly, and took off. But just as she answered her door that’s when the cops came, and that grumpy landlord. She saw the package, I know she did, cos she looked at me, with tears in her eyes, the saddest face, I’ll never forget it.

That was 20 years ago, and I drive past my neighbourhood and think about dear Mrs Pauley. I had heard she went to live with her youngest son, his wife and 5 grand kids, close by. She volunteers at the local soup kitchen. My wife and I visited the soup kitchen, and inspired by what we saw, we now volunteer every Christmas Eve and flip pancakes with Mrs Pauley.

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2 thoughts on “Writing 101 – Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

  1. He’s a nice kid, taking food over to her place. Really enjoyed this story. I like how you set the scene telling the reader about Mrs Pauley and how she fed all the kids in her street. I could picture Mrs Pauley perfectly – looking scrawny, like an old chook. Great ending too.

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